A Proposal for IoT Trust: Enabling AI Assistants with Standards Plus Old and New Technologies

By Phil Keys

Intertrust is honored that our CTO Dave Maher was selected to present at the recent HICSS (Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences) event held in Hawaii. Now in its 51st year, HICSS is an important and prestigious scientific event where professionals from around the world gather to discuss recent research in the worlds of computing systems.

Maher was chosen this year to present a paper on a very topical and urgent concern in 21st century computing, namely how to ensure trust in the extremely complex ecosystems of IoT (Internet of Things) computing. Entitled “On Software Standards and Solutions for a Trusted Internet of Things,” the paper argues for the need for a new IoT trust model. Trust models are essentially models of mechanisms and interactions needed to create trust in computing systems. It also outlines a solution to enable AI (artificial intelligence) based assistants for hyper-connected IoT devices. These assistants will allow humans from all walks of life to effectively make decisions to ensure trust for the hyper-connected IoT devices increasingly showing up in their personal and professional lives.

Maher’s proposal rests on a number of technologies, both new ones now entering the market and older ones from the (relatively) ancient annals of computer science. One the older side, Maher suggests the revival of reference monitors. These are software models first established in the 1970s where rights for systems to access computing resources are coded into the software on the device. On the newer side, Maher argues for the use of recording assertions around IoT devices and services in distributed ledgers using blockchain, as well as modeling devices in the cloud using digital twin technology. Digital assistants built on these and other technologies would use AI technology to help guide humans to make effective decisions about the risks their IoT devices may surface as they set up and use them.

Maher also argues for an approach that has served the technology industry well in the past, namely using standards. To make sure that any IoT device and/or service provider can participate equally as well as avoiding trapping customers in proprietary silos, many of the key technologies and approaches will need to be standardized.

Of course, there is more to the paper than what is mentioned here. If it sounds intriguing, do go ahead and read it. If you are interested in learning more about, and potentially bringing forward, the ideas mentioned within, do get in touch with us at Intertrust.